LaRue A. Wood


LaRue A. Wood, formerly of North Platte, Nebraska, departed this world Thursday, June 20, 2013.

LaRue Arline Baxter was born October 2, 1926, to Raymond Thomas and Irene Summerfield Jackson Baxter on a farm between Dannebrog and St. Paul, Nebraska. She was the first of their four children. The family moved in 1934 to a farm west of Grand Island, Nebraska where LaRue attended country school often sharing the horseback ride with her brother, LaVerne. LaRue and LaVerne worked alongside their parents in all farm chores, milking the cows, feeding the chickens, etc. When LaRue was twelve, the family was joined by younger brothers, Thomas, and later, James. James died of respiratory problems in infancy.

LaRue loved school, was an excellent student and graduated at the top of her country school class. One of the highlights for her growing up was when she and friend, Martha Loescher Heimbuch, went to the State Fair together. She formed many other lasting friendships during her school years and attended Grand Island High School where she met Wendell Willard Wood. They graduated high school in 1944 during World War II. As was the case with many young men at this time, Wendell and several of his friends enlisted in the services.

Upon Wendell’s discharge and return to Grand Island he and LaRue were wed September 22, 1946. Their daughter, Leann LaRue, was born in 1948 and son, LeRoy Wendell, was born in 1949. The young family moved to North Platte, Nebraska in 1952 when Wendell was made Sales Manager with Northwestern Public Service Gas Company. With the purchase of W.W. Wood Wholesale Building Supplies in 1964, LaRue worked in Accounts Payable.

LaRue and Wendell loved North Platte. They felt it was their opportunity to advance professionally, become part of the community, raise their children, and make lasting friendships. They were members of the First Baptist Church and were active in the building of the new church structure at McDonald and A Streets. LaRue belonged to a Church Circle and was a children’s’ Sunday School teacher.

LaRue loved playing bridge and was a member of two afternoon bridge clubs and one dinner bridge group of couples. Wendell was a good sport and played bridge “by the seat of his pants” because he knew she enjoyed it so much. LaRue was a Cub Scout Den Mother; a Horizon Club leader; member of P.E.O. Chapter EB as President and on various committees; and served on the North Platte Library Board.

LaRue and Wendell loved to entertain and had friends of all ages and from many walks of life. They went to Cornhusker football games at home, some away, and to a few bowl games through the years. They traveled to Manager’s and Board meetings with Northwestern Public Service Gas Company. They were avid golfers and in later years split their time between North Platte and Green Valley, Arizona. They drove to visit family and friends and attended many family reunions across the United States. LaRue was known for remembering birthdays and anniversaries with a card and a note. She was also known for her homemade bread roles, which she shaped into trees at Christmas time and delivered to friends and persons confined to home that she became acquainted with, often accompanied by Leann, and later granddaughters, Shela and Stacia.

LaRue was preceded in death by her husband, parents, brothers, LaVerne and James.

She is survived by her brother, Tom (Liz) Baxter, of Grand Island; daughter, Leann Wood Lupomech (Michael Lupomech), of Lakewood, CO; and son, LeRoy (Stephanie) Wood, of Grand Island, NE. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Shela (Phil) Tatro, of Pine, CO, Stacia Ray (Gary) Adamson, of Woodland Park, CO, William Wood and Ron Wood, both of Grand Island; and great-grandchildren, Amelia Tatro, Tobin and Corbin Adamson. LaRue was blessed with many nieces and nephews and their families as well as her many friends.

Memorials are requested to Nebraska P.E.O. Cottey College Scholarship Fund c/o Mary Kay Tuma, Assistant, 3106 Brentwood Blvd., Grand Island, NE 68801 or The First Baptist Church of North Platte.

Funeral service will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 24, 2013, at the First Baptist Church with Pastor Dave Logsdon officiating. Burial will follow in the North Platte Cemetery. Visitation will be Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. at Odean Colonial Chapel At C & Sycamore. Condolences may also be shared at Odean Colonial Chapel At C & Sycamore is in charge of arrangements.